Luckily for Michael Grimm, the first search result for his name on Google is for his website, MichaelGrimmMusic.com, with only several of the ensuing entries being about the disgraced New York congressman who shares his name.
“I have to tell people to make sure they put ‘music’ after my name,” he laughs, and the musical Grimm has reason to smile these days, with a new album, Grimm, recently released and five dates in his adopted home state of Nevada before he takes his show on the road in September. More importantly, he’s running his own ship, and he likes it.
“I’m not with a major record company,” he said. “I did this album on my own, so I really had no corporation looking down on me, telling me what to do this time around, and I love having that freedom and I think any artist loves having that freedom. It (making Grimm) was a long ride. It took us eight months of a good two albums’ worth of material just to get the one album down. We had a great time putting it together, it was an emotional ride, and I’m very proud of the project.”
He should be, as the new record hits all the right notes, whether you’re a fan of rock, pop, soul or anything in between. This eclectic mix could have produced a disastrous result, but when you could sing a grocery list and make it compelling like the 36-year-old Grimm can, it all works, making this a collection of tunes that can appeal to anyone and everyone in a particular household. Of course, that could also be a kiss of death for an artist not easily categorized in a music world that apparently needs categories, but Grimm’s fanbase has stayed strong and consistent, raising over $46,000 for him through Kickstarter to get the new record done and out to the world.
“I was very scared about that,” he admits. “But it was very humbling in the end, because it worked. It’s overwhelming, actually. When that went through, I said I can’t believe after more than five years since I was on that TV show, America’s Got Talent, that they’re still out there and still want more material from me and are supporting me.”
Grimm was just on “that TV show,” but he won the fifth season of AGT in 2010. It was undoubtedly a great moment for someone who had paid his dues and put out two albums while playing the Vegas scene for over a decade, but the winners of such talent shows are often put into the graveyards of what could have been, with only a select few able to parlay that national television exposure into long and successful careers. Grimm has navigated his share of bumpy roads since winning the show, but the fact that he’s still here and still putting out good music bodes well for him being one of those “long and successful” folks and not the answer to a trivia question.
“I realize that a lot of these acts that go on these shows, you don’t hear from them anymore, and I think a lot of them just get discouraged,” Grimm said. “If there’s any secret with me, it’s that I get up and I just keep going every day. Music is all I know and I’ve been doing this for 25 years. It’s a long road and it’s been good to me, and there’s no giving up. That’s the key.”